12, Jul, 23

Heavily Requested Free MTG EDH Cycle May Finally Get a Reprint!

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When thinking of potential Commander cards in dire need of a reprint, one infamous cycle is likely to rise to the top of many player’s minds. Free effects in Magic have proven themselves time and time again to be some of the most powerful things that players can possibly employ. There’s a reason why Force of Will rules every format the card is legal in, after all.

Well, thanks to early card previews from Commander Masters, it appears that one of Commander’s most infamous cycles is finally seeing a much-needed reprint. Honestly, we probably should’ve gotten a second copy of this cycle years ago but, reprinting Deadly Rollick now is a great move from Wizards of the Coast.

The Ikoria Free Spells Cycle

Released alongside Ikoria’s Commander decks, or Commander 2020, each of the five Commander decks contained a free instant spell in one of Magic’s five colors. These quickly became known as some of the most powerful things to employ in Commander. Long story short, as long as you have your Commander in play, you can cast any of these five spells for free!

Once players realized just how good these cards really are, prices started rising fast. It didn’t take long for the premier card of the cycle, Fierce Guardianship, to rise to almost $90 in its height just this year alone. Well, thanks to one particular spoiler, it looks like these cards are going to get a lot more affordable!

Deadly Rollick

Generally considered in the top three spells for this Ikoria Commander Cycle, Deadly Rollick was confirmed to appear in the upcoming Commander Masters set yesterday. The card is pretty straightforward, exiling a creature for four mana. If you have your Commander, Deadly Rollick becomes a free spell!

The absolute efficiency that these pieces of interaction offer is unprecedented. Allowing you to use your mana as effectively as possible, Deadly Rollick allows you to hold up interaction even when you’re tapped out. Generally, this will allow you to tap out for your Commander while holding up a bargaining chip to try and convince the table not to remove it, or to simply remove an oppressive threat to your board state.

Also of note is that this is the first time that Deadly Rollick will be seeing a foil printing. Available in regular, Etched Foil and full-art, this is not only a great opportunity to knock this card’s price down (which was worth about $40 just a month ago), but its also an opportunity for Commander players to bling out their decks!

The Powerhouses

At this point in time, Deadly Rollick is the only card that has been confirmed to appear in Commander Masters. Since this card has appeared, however, there’s a pretty good chance that the other four cards are going to see an appearance as well. Here’s what to look out for in order of power.

In a move that’s a shock to absolutely no one, the blue card in the cycle of free spells is considered the most powerful one. As is demonstrated by the dominance of cards like Force of Will and Force of Negation, free counterspells can warp entire formats. Fierce Guardianship is no different.

Considered one of the best Commander cards in existance, Fierce Guardianship, once upon a time, commanded a seriously fierce price tag of $87 just this year. Since Deadly Rollick’s reprint announcement, the card has dropped in price since many believe that this announcement is likely to be followed by the rest of the cycle. You can currently find these for about $40.

Fierce Guardianship grants the ability to interact with opponent’s noncreature spells at absolutely no cost as long as you have your Commander in play. This is generally good enough to protect your Commander from a piece of removal, but can also catch an opponent unaware who may be trying to win the game. Ultimately, this card is the most flexible of the free spells, able to deliver serious value in a number of different situations. For that reason, its considered the best of the free Commander spell cycle. Literally every single Commander deck that can play this card probably should be playing it.

When this cycle first came to print, Deadly Rollick was largely considered the second-best card in the free spells cycle, but it did not take long for players to realize just how good Deflecting Swat was. Like Fierce Guardianship, Deflecting Swat is a great tool to protect your Commander while your shields are down. As a result, the card was worth more than $50 at the end of May, but has come down to $40 because of speculation regarding reprints. Like Fierce Guardianship, because of how well Deflecting Swat lines up with the Commander format, this is another card that should probably see play in every deck that can play it.

Read More: Foil Premier MTG 25-Year Old Cycle Reprint Confirmed in Commander Masters!

The Others

Fierce Guardianship and Deflecting Swat are largely now considered the best of the free Commander spell cycle with Deadly Rollick being a powerful third option. There are two other cards, however, in the cycle. One, unlike the rest of the cycle, has recently seen a reprint. The other just doesn’t hold up to what the rest of the cycle is capable of.

Flawless Maneuver is a promising piece of protection that recently saw a reprint in the Phyrexia: All Will Be One Rebellion Rising Commander deck. Honestly, this card is perfectly fine for its actual mana value of three but, like the other cards in this cycle, having your Commander in play makes this card free.

Flawless Maneuver grants all of your creatures Indestructible until end of turn. While this effect is not considered as powerful as the other three cards discussed because it is not a direct piece of interaction, Flawless Maneuver is a great way to protect creature-heavy strategies against board wipes. Alternatively, this can simply be a way to protect your Commander, but isn’t great against the many pieces of Exile-based removal like Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile running around in Commander right now.

Thanks to the card’s reprinting in Phyrexia: All Will Be One, Flawless Maneuver is currently only worth around $10. The card had a zenith of around $25 before the reprint, which should, hopefully, represent the rate of which these cards will go down in price. Unlike Fierce Guardianship and Deadly Rollick, this is not a card that every deck will want, but is a fantastic card in creature strategies.

Obscuring Haze is definitely the unimpressive card of the cycle. The card doesn’t offer any sort of protection or removal on its own. Sure, if you’re blocking a bunch of your opponent’s creatures with yours and drop an Obscuring Haze, it can have a similar effect to Flawless Maneuver. The point, however, is that this card offers very little on its own and generally needs a bit of setup to work properly.

For that reason, Obscuring Haze sees a lot less play, and has a lot less of a price tag than the other cards in the cycle, retailing for about $4.

UPDATE: Obscuring Haze is confirmed to appear in Commander Masters with this sweet new artwork! This raises the chances of us seeing the other cards in this cycle heavily!

Read More: Underrated MTG LOTR Card Overperforms in Major Format!

These May be the Best Reprints Commander Masters Can Offer

Because Commander product sees a much smaller print run than cards that appear in main sets, supply can seriously hamper these cards’ price tags, especially when they were printed three years ago. For that reason, a reprinting of these cards is direly needed and is being requested by a big part of the MTG community.

“Fingers crossed for the entire cycle.”

Lethargic_Snail

For those who have a few of these cards and are worried about their prices dropping, you may not need to worry that much. I personally expect the higher demand cards, namely Fierce Guardianship and maybe Deflecting Swat, to follow similar trajectories to Dockside Extortionist’s reprinting in Double Masters 2022. That card got reprinted in Double Masters 2022 and, while it saw an initial price drop, the card rebounded given some time. Having these cards go down in price permanently would be a better alternative since the cards should be made more accessible to players, but the demand may still outweigh the supply in the long run.

A notable difference, however, is Dockside Extortionist was printed in the Double Masters 2022 set as a Mythic Rare, which ended up being a lot harder to open than expected in Double Masters 2022 product. That may not be the case for this cycle of free spells.

If the other cards are printed at a Rare rarity like Deadly Rollick is, we may receive more copies of these cards than expected which, ultimately, is a good thing. On the other hand, the Commander Masters set is seriously expensive, to the point where players are complaining about the prices, so less product could also be opened than expected.

Read More: MTG Players Want to Get Rid of Draft Boosters

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